First, a heads up: much of this blog’s information will be irrelevant less than two days after it’s posted.
This has been a trying week for politicians, both locally and nationally. In Congress, the struggle to find a way to raise the debt ceiling while cutting the cost of government proved to be almost impossible. Locally, political leaders campaigned to convince voters to shoulder a new tax to fund a sports arena. But for me, what was more interesting to watch was the gamesmanship everyone was playing in full view of the media.
The shenanigans in the House of Representatives made me long for the days when political deals were made in the proverbial back room. But the 24-hour news cycle has given us an era of posturing soundbites, the likes of which we’ve never seen before. And the spin was so dizzying that most Americans have become sickened and even scared.
Nassau voters go to the polls tomorrow after being inundated with messages about borrowing money on behalf of the Islanders’ owner so he can replace the dreary Nassau Coliseum. The arguments for and against are strong, but clearly the local media has come down on the side of Mr. Wang. I assume he’s been paying for the “yes” vote messaging out of his deep pockets.
These media shows were all about political positioning through message marketing. The Tea Party refused to compromise, the GOP tried to set up the president for failure, and the Democrats waited for the Republican Congress to divide so they could conquer. Political commentator Ben Stein called it, “A stupendous pile-up of immensely careless people.” In Nassau, a county already in debt way over its head, the messaging was also doomsday-based: if we don’t vote to borrow more money and allow ourselves to be taxed for it, the local economy will be devastated.
I’m waiting to see the result of the spin. Either way, it’s not going to be pretty. Your thoughts?